The Burleigh Bears have won the Intrust Super Cup Final after being just a little too strong for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Final finishing position of the regular season meant little, as the Bears beat the Dolphins for the second time this finals series to claim their first Intrust Super Cup / Queensland Cup for 12 years.
It was a battle of two former powerhouses of the Intrust Super Cup, and although Redcliffe were ultimately not quite good enough when it mattered, it was a welcome return to the top after some lea years.
We were at the Intrust Super Cup Final and have five thoughts that were the highlights or important from the game.
A full match review of the game will be available here very soon.
CAMERON CULLEN SURE CAN PLAY
The Burleigh five eighth was the standout player of the Intrust Super Cup final and a deserving winner of the Duncan Hall medal for best player of the final.
Along with halfback Jamal Fogarty, the Bears had a top shelf halves pairing who were on it again on Sunday against Redcliffe. It is an NRL standard duo, but unfortunately for Burleigh at least one them won’t be at the club next year as Jamal Fogarty has signed for Parramatta.
Cullen remains on the Titans books, but with several quality options ahead of him, it will take one hell of an off season to displace the incumbents. That is despite his ease in stepping up in 2016.
It is talent like Cullen that find it so hard to get a break in the NRL that prove the NRL could easily expand to 18 teams without diluting the quality of the competition. It may work in the NRL’s favour as players who may be lost to the NRL for overseas or r***y will get their chance to shine.
Same could be said for fullback Kurtis Rowe who had to drop back to Queensland Cup to get regular football.
BURLEIGH’S BIG MEN WERE GREAT TOO
Burleigh’s forward pack were a big part of the reason for their Intrust Super Cup final win on Sunday.
Paterika Vaivai was one of the best on ground with some damaging runs, and his loyal fans loved every minute. See below for their reaction to the big Burleigh win.
Luke Page was good too, and as fired up as anyone seen on a football field.
CURTIS JOHNSTON WAS ANGRY AS EVER
Talking of fired up, our vote for angriest sports person Redcliffe’s winger Curtis Johnston was in fine form as ever. Taking hit ups after hit up with the usual ferocity.
A shame some of the cross field kicks that came his way didn’t pay off. But that was Redcliffe’s day. Almost, but not quite.
Hopefully we see him in Red and White next year.
SUNCORP STADIUM IS THE RIGHT VENUE FOR THE FINAL – PITY IT CAN’T BE FILLED
What a great sight to see rugby league on a Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium. Queensland’s premier rugby league competition needs Queensland’s premier ground.
With the weather fine, and two of the better supported teams in the competition, it was a great excuse to spend some time on the Sunday.
Whilst the crowd was great, with the Western stand almost completely full, it is a shame that the intrust Super Cup final can’t quite the imagination of Brisbane sporting fans in general. We love to see a 30,000 to 40,000 strong crowd but know it will probably never happen.
Some are just sporting snobs who see it as second tier and inferior, and other just don’t know enough about it. The QRL do a great job promoting their game, but there can always be more.
One suggestion is creating a half hour highlights show pieced together from the highlights packages on the QRL website. Play it on a Friday night after the Friday night NRL game for some extra reach.
BURLEIGH CAN WIN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOO
The Bears now have little time for celebration if they wish to uphold Queensland pride in the State Championship.
But from what was on display against both games against Redcliffe in the finals, they will be and should strong favourites to take out that trophy too.
They will take on the Illawarra Cutters, who defeated the hot favourites Mounties in the NSW Cup Grand Final at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Queensland sides have won the first two Stare Championships – Northern Pride beat Penrith in 2014 and Ipswich beat Newcastle in 2015.
The kick off will be 3:40pm Sydney time, which means for the Save the Lounges and Curtain group it will be on at 2:40pm.